With both virtual and augmented reality becoming increasingly popular, they’re still not necessarily easily accessible for creators and viewers. 360 video is trying to bridge that gap. It has much of the same allure of virtual reality, while still remaining affordable and relatively easy to create and provide. 360 video gives creators new and interesting ways to tell their stories and engage their audience. In this article we’ll look into the details of 360 video and talk about the advantages of using 360 capture with your video strategy.
Introduction to 360 Videos
A 360 video is simply a video that captures all 360 degrees of the environment you’re recording. To create 360 video you’ll need a camera capable of recording 360 video, many of which are affordable and easy to use. You can find a list of inexpensive 360 cameras here, as well as a list of some of the higher-end 360 cameras here. When 360 videos are viewed on a computer, the viewer can click on or scroll through the video window to change the angle they are viewing. On iOS and Android mobile devices, the viewer can either move their phone to change what they’re viewing or they can use a makeshift VR headset like Google Cardboard to use their phone as virtual glasses. Both Facebook and YouTube have capabilities to watch and upload 360 video on desktops and mobile devices.
Using 360 Videos With YouTube
YouTube allows uploading and playback of 360 videos on most popular desktop browsers (Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer, Opera) as well as popular smartphones and tablet devices (iOS, Android). While it’s possible to upload 360 videos to YouTube with custom camera set ups and third party apps, the following cameras are officially compatible with YouTube: Ricoh Theta, Kodak SP360, and IC Real Tech Allie. Once you have recorded your video, it’s recommended that you encode your video at a high resolution. YouTube recommends uploading 16:9 aspect ratio stitched videos in 4K (3840×2160) resolution.
In order to upload 360 videos to YouTube, the video file has to meet certain metadata requirements. Previously this involved the use of a spatial media python script to inject spherical metadata, but everyone knows there’s no fun in spherical metadata injection. Luckily YouTube has greatly simplified this process, and you can follow these instructions to upload 360 videos to YouTube in less than five minutes (the following information was sourced here):
- First you need to download the 360 Video Metadata app, available here for Mac and here for Windows.
- Once in the app, select the video file you want to upload and click the checkbox for “Spherical” (don’t click the “3D top-bottom checkbox”). Then click “Save As”.
- Name your video file and save.
- Upload the file to YouTube and wait for the 360 feature to enable.
- Publish the file and make sure the 360 feature is enabled. When watching the video in YouTube the video with 360 enabled will have a pan button and can be moved using the W, A, S, and D keys on your keyboard.
Uploading 360 Videos To Facebook
Facebook also allows 360 videos to be uploaded and shared on the platform. If you have a video that was recorded with a 360 camera and includes the 360 metadata in the file, then you can upload the video the same way you do any video on Facebook. If the video was recorded with a camera that doesn’t automatically add the 360 metadata, then you need to follow the below instructions (the following information was sourced here):
- Proceed the same way uploading you would with any other video.
- Before posting the video, click the “Advanced” tab.
- Then click the box “This video was recorded in 360 format”, to have the “360 Controls” tab appear
- Click the “360 Controls” tab to set the initial camera orientation and field of view for the video
Make sure that your video file has the 360 feature enabled before publishing. For more information on 360 videos, or if you have any interesting ideas on how to incorporate 360 videos with your video strategy, feel free to reach out to us here
And finally, if you want to see some really cool examples of 360 music videos, check out the embeds below.